Inside the Newport Mansions:

Victorian America's most elegant interiors

A day-trip to Newport to see some of the mansions is always fun. Besides touring the amazing houses inside, one can freely wander the expansive and meticulously maintained grounds around the properties. The overwhelming majority of picture-sets one can find around the net are of the landscapes and exteriors. Photography is generally not permitted inside the mansions themselves, but that doesn't necessarily prevent obtaining some pictures via alternate sources. The Preservation Society that maintains the properties expresses a concern that too much freely available information and imagery may diminish the appeal of making the trip to visit the mansions, and thus cut into the tour fees that are one of their major funding sources.

For *good* photographic capture that could be an understandable issue, and such work tends to show up in the big coffee-table books sold in the gift shops. However, paltry sets of snaps like this present no risk to that revenue as they're anything but high quality and are certainly no substitute for visiting in person, surrounding one's self temporarily with the opulence of America's Gilded Age, and helping keep that part of the history alive. While often grainy and/or tilted at crazy angles and frequently victim to CCD bloom and screwy white-balance, the shots nonetheless do show some of the grandeur and over-the-top decor and detail that adorns the mansions' interiors.

And an extra-special set from All presented as a teaser to make the viewer more curious about the real thing -- there's a big difference in perception and impact with the depth of binocular vision and one's own footsteps echoing along the marble halls. A few remarks on designs and lifestyles of the early 20th century are sprinkled in where they could be recalled, with various external links to additional information. A few well-placed searches will turn up a whole lot more.

Just for completeness, albeit at an accepted risk of total redundancy with features that thousands of others have likely taken shots of as well, here's a combined set of exterior shots and commentary (merged from both visits).

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